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Why Teach English as a Foreign Language

TEFL, Tips

TEFL is an expanding industry. With globalization on the rise and the English language becoming more and more prominent each and every day, the future of TEFL is very promising.

There is going to be an even greater need than there presently is for TEFL teachers worldwide for a long time to come. This blog will be discussing what TEFL means to the country, student and teacher.

English language growth

In 2006, there were 400 million speakers of English as a second language. Also, there were around 600 million people who spoke English as a foreign language. The number of English speakers has grown in the last decade. Today, there are over 1.8 billion people who are capable of speaking English.

English is the most commonly spoken language in the world. From a total of 195 countries, 67 nations have English as their primary language. Also, 27 countries have English as their second language. That's almost half the world that speaks English as their first or second language.

TEFL and English proficiency around the world

Recently, the 2018 edition of the “EF English proficiency index” was published. This report provides valuable insight into English language ability around the world. The index uses data to rank the English language skills of 88 countries and regions, tracking improvements, declines, and various points of interest.

By looking at this data we can see English proficiency has improved since last year’s index was published; 12 countries rank in the top proficiency section, more than ever before! Public and private investment in English language teaching continues to increase, which is great news for TEFL teachers.

The strongest market in the world for TEFL teachers is in China. There is a huge demand for teachers in other Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

In China, the private English language market is estimated to continue growing at a rate of 22% per year. Additionally, 70% of parents want their kids to learn more English in school, so there is a wide understanding of the value of English.

Over in Japan, the English language will become an official subject in primary schools by 2020, which will double the current number of English classroom hours. Japan ranked low in the report but the government showed a great desire to introduce measures to combat this. This could lead to even more opportunities for TEFL teachers over the upcoming years.

The Business Side

TEFL has multiple benefits. It prepares aspiring teachers to be able to connect to actual classroom teaching. TEFL is all about the techniques of teaching the skill-based tasks related to listening, reading, speaking and writing. The course itself is a comprehensive compilation of techniques and strategies that are required in day to day teaching processes.

The course covers the lesson plans and uses techniques that are applicable at all levels of language learning and for all ages, from young learners to adults.  Beyond the language teaching techniques, TEFL explores classroom management tactics and how to deal with issues related to student management.

The course also provides an overview of grammar and phonology that are important for any teacher in a TEFL classroom. Phonology helps in focusing the areas where pronunciation needs correcting.

The practical aspect includes in-class teaching practice that helps a trainee teacher to incorporate the skills in an actual classroom. It is an invaluable experience that gives the trainee an exposure to the real world of teaching.

By actually teaching English in another country, you can earn yourself some international work experience that will look amazing on your CV. Employers everywhere want someone with international work experience to work for them. Teaching somewhere foreign and new shows that you have an excellent initiative, an ability to adapt to new environments and that you aren’t afraid of leaving your comfort zone.

The Experience

The experience of TEFL is commonly linked with getting paid to live abroad. A huge perk is the amazing travel experience. On your days off, you get to do whatever you want with your time.  If you’re in Japan and you want to take a quick day trip to Naoshima island to check out some modern art, you can. Go to museums, beaches and every famous attraction there is; experience a new and fascinating culture and be as much of a stereotypical tourist as your heart desires.

Unlike studying abroad, which makes you (or your parents) pay for everything, TEFL programs pay you to live and work in a foreign country. Not only would you be gaining experience that can help you in this competitive world, but you would be helping others. Millions of people are taking English as a foreign language to increase educational and professional opportunities. Wouldn't it feel good knowing that you helped better someone’s life?

Whether you’re looking for a way to experience a new culture in its entirety, get a CV-building experience, or go on a journey of self-discovery, teaching English as a foreign language is really one of the best things you can do for yourself and for others.

The future of TEFL

An increasing number of students are seeking to enter the world of online English teaching after graduating. Teaching English online offers many people a vast range of benefits. Flexible working and the potential to work from anywhere in the world are the main advantages.

Increasing access to technology and the internet can only lead to further demand for online language learning, resulting in even more opportunities for TEFL qualified teachers. Live online teaching and innovations in this area will be essential going forward in this market.